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Cavaliers win preseason game

By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY

Daily News

The new-look Callaway Cavaliers took a test run on Wednesday.

Facing Northgate in a preseason scrimmage, Callaway held on for a 7-5 victory as it gets ready to play for keeps next week as the regular season gets underway.

It was Callaway’s first game since the 2020 season ended prematurely in March because of COVID-19.

“It’s been so long since we played,” said Callaway head coach Dusty Hubbard. “It was nice to get back out there, and it was a great night, it wasn’t very cold. It was fun to get back out there and compete against somebody else. It’s just long overdue.”

Northgate had the tying runs on base in the final inning of Wednesday’s game, but pitcher Justin Moore got out of the jam to preserve the win.

While Hubbard has watched his players closely during practice, he was eager to see them in a competitive situation.

“It gives you a little bit more evaluation tools,” Hubbard said. “You’re trying to evaluate your team, and your players individually, and just to be able to see how they compete against somebody else is so valuable.”

One player Hubbard knows has what it takes to succeed is Moore, who will anchor the staff this season.

Moore, a junior, has been a key member of the staff since his freshman season when he helped the Cavaliers reach the state semifinals.

“I thought he did a really good job closing it out,” Hubbard said “We used some younger guys early on, and we kind of spread our pitching out a little bit, and he threw the last two innings and he did a good job.”

A handful of other players, including Hubbard’s son Bryce Hubbard who started at third base as a freshman, got their first taste of varsity baseball.

“(Bryce) did a good job for us for his first time in there, and all the guys did,” Hubbard said. “We’ve definitely got to get a lot better no doubt, but the biggest thing that we wanted to see was play with a lot of effort, and just be scrappy. I felt like we were. I felt like we scrapped really hard, and I thought we were really good on the bases and created some mistakes from them. Offensively, we only had six hits, but I felt like we scrapped. They had some really good arms, and everybody we had hit. I felt like we battled.”

It’s a team, Hubbard added, that will have to be fundamentally sound to succeed.

“We’re going to have to do that all year,” Hubbard said. “We’ll have to pitch it, and play good defense, and get some timely hits, and win some games with our base running and things like that. I think our coaching staff has done a good job of daily getting that point across to our kids, and try to learn what kind of a team we are, and what we’ve got to do to be successful.”

Callaway hosts Manchester on Monday.